The polar night is a phenomenon where the sun does not appear over the horizon for 24 hours. There are regions of Norway where the polar night lasts up to and a half a year! The further north you go, the longer the period of polar nights occurs. It is not an easy time even for native Norwegians, let alone foreigners, for whom such everyday life is completely unknown. But fortunately, there are proven ways to help yourself in times of light deficiency, there are also those who appreciate this darkness very much and do not lose their vigor even during the polar nights. L-Jay, the author of the blog “My little Norway”, a native Australian who lives 350 km north of the Arctic Circle, advises: How to survive 60 days without the sun? It’s easy! When in Norway, do as the Norwegians do. So what to do to survive the winter darkness happily, and maybe even to like a bit
1. Be aware that the lack of light triggers specific reactions in the body and prepare yourself accordingly. It has been shown that people who stay away from light for a long time develop “seasonal affective disorder”, known as SAD. It is caused by a biochemical imbalance in the body. The main symptoms of SAD are fatigue, lethargy, a sense of sadness and irritation, as well as an unwillingness to contact others. The key to surviving the times of limited light is knowing that SAD is a natural organism response and being properly prepared for winter.
2. Fish oil – Norwegians drink fish oil regularly because they know that it helps the body to absorb the good from the sun.
3. Enjoy the sun when it’s available! A great preparation for winter shortages of light is its maximum use when it is in excess. After all, the other side of life in the far north are the polar days, when the sun does not set below the horizon. Then the Norwegians like to spend all their free time to absorb as much sunlight as possible.
4. Physical activity is especially helpful to compensate for the lack of happiness hormones in the body. Norwegians, regardless of the season and the weather, regularly walk, go skiing and use the gym.
5. Fresh air, which is actually fresh in Norway, helps a lot during the continuous heating season. Even babies, properly dressed, are put outside for nap time. Thanks to this, they also acquire extraordinary resistance.
6. Do not quit your daily activities. It is natural to be tempted to stay in a warm house when it is dark and frosty outside. However, it is worth breaking through and going to a meeting, to the cinema or shopping. For example, in Norwegian kindergartens, life in winter goes on quite normally. It’s time to play outside every day, no matter the weather! Children are properly dressed and have a lot of freedom when it comes to playing, which results in their sustainable development and high resistance to diseases.
7. The right approach – the people who say you can’t live without the sun are right. But that doesn’t mean that focusing on this fact will help them get through the winter darkness! Many Norwegians see wintertime instead of as a time of challenges and an occasion to celebrate together. Celebrating Advent, for example, when it is dark is a truly amazing experience. And of course, if it weren’t for the sun, we wouldn’t be able to admire the Northern Lights, which appears to be a magical phenomenon, illuminating the darkness of the Norwegian land.
8. Light a fire not only in the fireplace. When it gets dark in Norway, houses are lit up with countless candles, lanterns and lamps. In every window, in front of the entrance door, even in the shops there is a fire. Then even when the sun is not visible, our soul lights up .
9. And last but not least – invest winter solstice time into intensive Norwegian language learning , for which there is always little time in summer, and in winter
this excuse can no longer be used !
The time when we lack sun every day is definitely a real challenge. So let’s remember about it and don’t be surprised when we get the SAD syndrome. However, instead of feeling sorry for ourselves and planning an immediate escape to Norway, let’s try to approach the problem with the head, so as not to lose it during the prevailing darkness.